Academics

At The Frederick Gunn School we give our students the lifelong learning and leadership skills they need to be active and responsible citizens, both locally and globally. We prepare our students for what’s next as they continue to learn and grow, in college and in life. It all begins in the classroom, yet because we are a boarding school, it intentionally spans across all of our on-campus experiences. 

Innovative learning ecosystem
Our timeless educational philosophy, with its emphasis on challenging academics, character development, curiosity, risk-taking, problem solving, and independent thinking, will meet every student where they are, while never letting them stay there. At The Frederick Gunn School, our learning ecosystem champions the interdisciplinary and experiential nature of life and learning, incorporating athletics, arts, and the outdoors into everyday life alongside ambitious academics.
 
Risk-taking and innovation
Frederick Gunn’s own entrepreneurial mindset is as relevant for our students in the twenty-first century as it was for his students in the nineteenth century. Our new Center for Innovation and Active Citizenship, opening in the Fall of 2023, will house our Entrepreneurship Program alongside our Center for Citizenship and Just Democracy and our IDEAS Lab. This entrepreneurial mindset will be integrated into every one of our programs on campus, as we prepare our students to take risks and to be makers not consumers.
 
Learning yourself and how to learn
The key to 21st century skills is the work for each of our students to understand themselves as integrated human beings who are unique as individuals and as learners. Exemplified in our Center for Academic Excellence, these priorities are found through our advising program, in our Student Progress meetings, as well as in every single classroom at Frederick Gunn.
 
Public character and active citizenship
The mission of the Frederick Gunn School is to form active citizens who will have a positive impact here on campus and out in the world. While they learn these principles explicitly through the Center for Citizenship and Just Democracy, we know that it takes an ecosystem of adults committed to this work to ensure this outcome for our students.
 
A sense of rootedness and place
Exemplified by Gunn Outdoors, a sense of rootedness and place is important for all Frederick Gunn School programs, as this exemplifies Frederick Gunn’s instincts around place-based and experiential learning, a commitment to the natural world, instincts for sustainable living, and practical, life-skills outcomes for every Frederick Gunn student.
 

Teaching and Learning

Academic News

JonandLizzieTisch_PeterBecker_PatrickDorton_CIACGroundbreaking061822

The community welcomed Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch ’72 to campus on June 18, 2022, for the official groundbreaking of the transformational building that will bear their names: the Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch Center for Innovation and Active Citizenship. Construction on the site of the 24,000-square-foot academic building, scheduled to open in fall 2023, has already begun, as the former Science Building, which opened in 1968, is being removed to make way for the new center. 
 

Investiture 2022 Procession

On May 30, the day following Commencement, rising sophomores, juniors and seniors gathered on the Glade and processed into the Thomas S. Perakos Arts and Community Center by class to mark the transition to the new school year at Investiture. 
 

Class of 2022 Commencement_group photo in Bourne Garden

The Frederick Gunn School graduated 94 students, representing 14 states and 10 countries, in the Class of 2022 at its 172nd Commencement Exercises, held Sunday, May 29, 2022. The graduates were encouraged to be active and courageous citizens in the world by remaining true to themselves, by exercising their moral judgment, by embracing the outdoors, and by continuing to learn — all in the spirit of school founder, abolitionist, and outdoorsman Frederick Gunn.
 

Excellence in Mandarin Award 2022

Awards for academic excellence and other honors were presented to students at the annual Prize Night ceremony, held on May 28, 2022, under the tent on Edward Wersebe Memorial Field. Congratulations to all of the students honored this year: 
 

Jesse Perkins delivers the 2022 Baccalaureate Address

On May 24, the community gathered for formal advisor dinner and the annual Baccalaureate Service, the first in a weeklong series of events designed to prepare for Commencement. Students and faculty gathered in the Tisch Family Auditorium for the service, which began with opening remarks delivered by Head of School Peter Becker and an invocation by Karoline Theobald P’09 ’14, whose husband, Rod Theobald P’09 ’14, a fellow member of the English Department faculty, delivered the Baccalaureate Address in 2021 upon his retirement from the school.
 

Rooted Research 2022

On Sunday, April 24, The Frederick Gunn School hosted the 2022 Rooted Research Conference: An Exploration of Heritage and History, featuring illustrated, place-based and primary-source research presentations by this year’s Gunn Scholars, Robin Wright ’22 and Grace Noh ’22. The conference, held in the Thomas S. Perakos Arts and Community Center, also featured special presentations by five Gunn seniors, who spoke about their Civic Changemakers Projects for the Center for Citizenship and Just Democracy, and six students in the Original Civic Research and Action program (ORCA) at Mamaroneck High School in New York.
 

The Frederick Gunn School Announces $25 Million Gift

The Frederick Gunn School is excited to announce a $25 million gift from Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch ’72, the largest philanthropic commitment in the 172-year history of the school. Inspired by a nearly 60-year connection to The Frederick Gunn School, the gift demonstrates the family’s tremendous philanthropic partnership with the school. 
 

2021-22 Gunn Scholars and Faculty

On Sunday, April 24, The Frederick Gunn School will host the 2022 Rooted Research Conference: An Exploration of Heritage and History, featuring illustrated, place-based and primary-source research presentations by this year’s Gunn Scholars, Robin Wright ’22 and Grace Noh ’22, and invited guest speakers. A call for participation was issued in January to local schools, museums, and historical entities throughout the state. The program will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Thomas S. Perakos Arts and Community Center on campus and is open to students, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the community. All attendees are asked to follow the school’s current Visitor Policy.
 

Image used with permission, The King Center, Intellectual Properties Management, Inc. (IPM), Licensing Manager of the Estate of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This year’s celebration of the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will focus on the themes of restoration, mercy and community service. In the spirit of celebrating MLK Day as a national day of service — “a day on, not a day off” — students will not have classes on January 17 but will gather in the Thomas S. Perakos Arts and Community Center for a day of programming and a service-oriented activity. On January 18 at 7 p.m., the school will welcome Reginald Dwayne Betts, author, lawyer, poet and founder of Freedom Reads, a first-of-its-kind organization working to radically transform access to literature in prison, as part of its 2021-22 Speaker Series.